Two American cruise lines requiring COVID-19 vaccinations before boarding
Two American cruise lines will require proof of coronavirus vaccinations before passengers are allowed to board beginning in July.
The requirements, set forth by American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines, are part of guidelines called “SafeCruise” the companies have established to keep passengers and staff safe during their trips.
“Vaccination requirements for both our guests and crew is the most prudent next step to ensure that we are providing the safest cruising experience possible,” John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company told Condé Nast Traveler.
Both companies’ guidelines stipulate that passengers and crew must be vaccinated against the coronavirus starting July 1 in order to travel.
The industry took a hit as a result of the pandemic, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) docked the cruises from March to October last year.
Both companies will be resuming cruises starting in April, instituting coronavirus precautions such as masks and temperature checks, though the vaccine mandate will begin in July.
The companies said they are not concerned about the requirement, as many of their customers are older and eligible for the vaccine. The crew is also eligible for the vaccine under the CDC’s Phase 1c priority system since they are employees of a transportation company, both companies said, Condé Nast Traveler reported.
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The U.S. has been focused on vaccinating two of its most vulnerable populations — the elderly and health care workers — since the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were approved.
The Biden administration has vowed to administer 100 million shots within the first 100 days of President Biden’s term as it ramps up efforts to distribute the vaccine.
Public health officials, including top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci, have predicted that more than 75 percent of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for the country to return to a version of normality.